Your focus at year-end is on financial preparation to support audit and tax requirements. This year, if you expand your vision to identify areas of process improvement, you will be surprised by the items you identify.
You have coordinated with your CPA and planned for year-end audit and tax preparation. They have provided their requirements and their on-site time (virtual) is already scheduled. However, do not wait until after your audit and taxes are completed to consider process improvements. Like most accountants, come April, you will be burned out and taking some well-deserved time off to “forget” the stress and long hours of year-end.
Take a step back now and consider process automation or custom reporting to create and review year-end schedules throughout the year. By considering automation, you will uncover other areas of process improvement i.e., correcting data integration or integrating information across departments. Identifying areas of improvement now will give a clear understanding of year-end time savings and a reduction in audit risks.
Identifying process improvement now will encourage and motivate staff. Year-end requires long hours and creates stress; however, identifying areas of process improvement means next year will be easier. Use this as motivation with your staff and watch as the identify additional areas of improvement.
Finally, your mindset as well as your staff’s mindset need to change. You must be open to change, including changing the processes you designed. My parents taught me to “compete with yourself” and to use that as a tool for self evaluation and motivation. Competing with yourself will allow you to rethink your processes and open your mind to change.
Rethink yearend today and document all of your ideas. After that well deserved time off in April, begin to implement the process improvements.
As always, let me know if you need help.